Miami progressing, ‘guys trying their butts off.’ But ‘talent level, depth’ are elements



North Carolina Tar Heels defensive again Tony Grimes (1) breaks a move meant to Miami Hurricanes vast receiver Frank Ladson Jr. (8) through the fourth quarter of an ACC convention soccer recreation at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, October 8, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida..

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Mario Cristobal went on WQAM early Monday to speak Hurricanes with hosts Joe Rose and Zach Krantz.

The Hurricanes (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have misplaced three video games in a row and journey this weekend to face the Virginia Tech Hokies (2-4, 1-2) for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Despite being on the highway, Miami opened as an 8-point favourite in opposition to the Hokies, who additionally play within the ACC’s Coastal Division.

Cristobal pressured greater than as soon as Monday that regardless of the losses, progress has been made, simply not sufficient to get to the extent he believes they’ll attain in the event that they hold working and focusing and ignoring outdoors noise.

“Resiliency is earned and it’s worked for and a lot of that showed up,’’ Cristobal told Rose. “Learning to win requires that details be handled at the highest level because at our current talent level we’re going to be in a lot of close games. These games are going to come down to the wire, come down to the fourth quarter. So, ball security, repointing a [middle linebacker] when he walks outside; maintaining leverage on a pass rush so a guy doesn’t escape and they move the chains and extend a drive. Those things have to show up consistently when we practice for them to show up consistently in the game in the most critical moments. Because these games are going to come down anywhere between three, five, eight plays. That’s what we’re working on.”

The coach mentioned the Hurricanes “are trying their butts off.’’

“We’re getting progress and whatnot. But we’ve got to understand and realize that with the way we are, our current talent level and roster depth, we have to eliminate, avoid the unavoidables and continue to ramp up and get better. …We signed up for all this. We knew we had some work to do and we’re all about it.”

Receivers getting higher

The UM receivers, who’ve struggled since fall camp, confirmed enchancment in Saturday’s 27-24 loss to North Carolina, however nonetheless want to dam higher. Top receiver Xavier Restrepo (foot) attend the sport with no boot, however is out for at the least a couple of extra weeks. Also out nonetheless out with a hand harm is Jacolby George. UM, helped by a profession recreation by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (42 of 57 for 496 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception), is now fifteenth nationally in passing offense (315.4 yards a recreation).

“Mike Redding is going to catch jugs out there until he is blue in the face,’’ Cristobal said in praise of Redding’s improvement. “They brought along Brashard Smith, who took a tremendous step up. Colbie Young, credit to him, hung in there. [He] got here very, very late in the process from Lackawanna [Junior] College, goes in there and makes a couple of really, really big plays.

“Frank Ladson continues to get better. Guys are improving. You’ve got to keep improving in terms of every part of the game. You gotta be able to block out there now, too, not just catching the ball. But in terms of just catching the ball, certainly improving.”

DB protection breakdown

Cristobal spoke about UNC’s first “big” landing, the 74-yard move from Drake Maye to J.J. Jones not being cornerback Tyrique Stevenson’s fault.

“We’re in Cover 2 and the safety saw something and — bam! — obviously he’s got to get his hands on that receiver. Follow him and then reroute him. The safety saw something that wasn’t quite there and jumped it. The same play we pick off a few plays later. It took us a little while to get settled in.

“The big plays we’ve allowed on defense are busts mentally that seem to get rectified as the game goes on. We’ve got to start better to avoid those big plays. These games could go 55-50, could be 7-6, you just don’t know. But we’ve got to find a way to win.”

We’ll hear extra from Cristobal and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele this afternoon on the weekly news convention.

Miami Herald sports activities author Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes soccer beat author since 2000, the season earlier than the Canes gained all of it. She has gained a number of APSE nationwide writing awards and has lined the whole lot from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to main marathons to the Olympics.


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